Friday, September 12, 2008

Reid Says McCain, Bush Simply Following Obama's Foreign-Policy Lead

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said it best in one phrase on the Senate floor this afternoon.

“Barack Obama was right. George Bush, Dick Cheney and John McCain were wrong."

Reid took some time around noon today to talk about what a general mess Bush, Cheney, McCain and the whole Republican cabal have made of U.S. foreign policy and focused specifically on Obama's prescience -- and how it seems that, after bashing him early on, the Bush-McCain team seems to spend a lot of time playing catch-up before eventually adopting the Democratic Presidential candidate's ideas.

“Senator McCain and his supporters are dead set against changing the Bush Administration’s failed policies," said Reid. "They have no plan for ending conflict, no plan for securing our country, no plan for bringing our troops home. Republicans talk a lot about experience. But when you are the author, architect and enabler of years of devastating foreign policy mistakes, that’s not experience – it’s bad judgment."

While the floor debate on the Defense Authorization bill continues, Reid noted how much more dangerous the world has become thanks to the Bush administration, said McCain offers nothing but more of the same and called on Americans to see through the GOP's campaign of smoke and mirrors.

"Will we stick with the same failed, out of touch foreign policy of George Bush and Dick Cheney, which military experts, historians and countless authors call the worst foreign policy in our nation’s history?" Reid asked. "Or will we change course to a tougher, more responsible foreign policy that will make us more secure?"

And here's the Majority Leader talking about how nice it is that McCain and Bush are finally realizing they've let al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden off scot-free, but that Barack Obama seems to have had the right answers for years.
“We believe we must end the war in Iraq and bring the war on terror to where the terrorists actually live and plot. We know our focus must return to Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"For years, Senator Obama and Senate Democrats have been calling on the Bush Administration to hunt down Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda wherever they may be located. As it became clear that al Qaeda had made Pakistan the central focus of its operation, Democrats called on the President to make Pakistan a central focus of our war to defeat al Qaeda.

“Here’s what Senator Obama said last year, in August 2007: ‘Let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. ... If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and the Pakistani leadership won’t act, we will. I will not hesitate to use military force to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to America.’

“While Senator Obama sounded the alarm about the Al Qaeda threat in Pakistan and called for a more forceful and comprehensive strategy to fight this threat, George Bush and John McCain, chose, stunningly, to ignore it. The President kept the bulk of our ground troops – and our special operations forces and our intelligence assets – tied down in an Iraqi war that had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden and the terrorists who attacked us."
Reid also went after McCain for how he and his party assail Democrats for their ideas -- often questioning their patriotism in the process -- and then take on those solutions as their own in the future.

“Republicans led by John McCain attacked Obama’s approach to forcefully go after Al Qaeda in Pakistan. Senator McCain even had the bad judgment on the campaign trail this past February to call the Obama approach ‘naïve,’" said Reid. “Here we stand a year later. The Al Qaeda threat in Pakistan has grown far more dangerous. The need for the tough action Senator Obama called for last year is even more urgent."

“Barack Obama was right. George Bush, Dick Cheney and John McCain were wrong… It’s one thing to take Obama’s playbook, but it’s another thing to call the right plays. And then yesterday, the newspapers reported that senior Bush Administration officials have begun doing what Obama called for long ago: go after Al Qaeda safehavens in Pakistan, reportedly including military operations against terrorist camps. That’s precisely the Obama approach that John McCain called naïve."

Switching to Iran, Reid spoke about how McCain has ridiculed the Obama approach of tough negotiations, which have included the GOP distorting Obama's views to smear him with Jewish voters.

“On Iran, where Bush and McCain criticized the Obama vision for tough and effective face-to-face diplomacy, even as they quietly agreed to face-to-face diplomacy and started sending State Department officials to negotiations with the Iranians," said Reid.

"Across the globe, the Bush Administration is quietly acknowledging that Senator Obama’s vision has been right all along."

You can read Harry Reid's floor speech here and see it here: